Forsa campaign holds lecture at Hebron University

The Media Development Center (MDC) at Birzeit University, in cooperation with the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and Hebron University, organized a lecture on the Forsa – or “opportunity” in English -  campaign, and the outcomes of the National Initiative for Media Development. The lecture, held on January 30, 2018, was attended by students and academics from Hebron University, Bethlehem University, Palestine Ahliya University College, and Al Arroub College.

MDC Director Nibal Thawabteh said that Forsa is aimed at “the government, universities, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, and media organizations. But the campaign, at its core, is aimed at media students, who form the basis for the future of media in Palestine. This is what the campaign is striving to guarantee with its various outcomes, which aim to improve and develop media work for a better media future.”

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate Representative Jihad Qawasmi commended the Forsa campaign. “This campaign is not only an opportunity, but a reality that we should benefit from, and work toward implementing and taking full advantage of the initiative’s outcomes. The consensus of the National Team, which includes over 80 institutions both in the West Bank and Gaza, exemplifies the media’s need for such a campaign.”

The lecture was held in the auditorium of the Strategic Planning Building (Bandar) and was facilitated by Professor of Media at Bethlehem University Dr. Said Shaheen.

MDC Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator Emad Alasfr presented the outcomes of the National Initiative for Media Development and its nine key points, which are: Legal Reformation, Academic Development, Gender Equality, Self-regulation, Public Media, Media Training, Media and the Community, Infrastructure, and Job Safety. The outcomes of the initiative, added Alasfr, will push media forward. He also outlined the role of Bethlehem University in the initiative, especially its Academic Development committee.

Media Research and Policy Coordinator at the MDC Saleh Masharqeh reviewed two courses: Media and the Law, and Media Ethics. Masharqeh highlighted the importance of those two courses for university students and the additions that they make to the students’ legal knowledge and journalism ethics, which prevent mistakes from happening.

Omar Fatafta, from Al Arroub College, detailed the importance and the method of instruction for the Media and Law courses – which were adopted by most Palestinian universities. He also emphasized the importance of offering these courses, because of the overabundance of news in Palestine, which sometimes leads to professional errors.

MDC Gender Unit Coordinator Nahed Abu Tu'ima gave a presentation on the Gender Equality course and how to best deliver it. She noted that the course serves to change stereotypical images found in media, and she emphasized the importance of adopting a gender-sensitive editorial policy.

Ayah Abu Mayyali, from the Palestine Ahliya University College, highlighted the Gender Equality course and noted its importance in cementing gender equality, which includes men and women equally. She also added that she would like to teach this course to her students, who would benefit immensely from such a course.